With National Intern Day coming up on July 30th, we thought it would be important to highlight the ways interns can help your company grow and shape into a more modern organization. No matter your company size or industry, interns can add value in ways that go far beyond just bringing coffee or making copies.
First and foremost, internship programs are made to allow students to get some real-world work experience, so the first benefit is, of course, the work they do. While you may not want to give a group of interns the passwords to your company, they can provide valuable support to under-staffed or new departments in your organization. Having interns complete actual work alongside a busy department can alleviate some of your full-time employees’ workload. While it might be nice to have some busy work taken off your plate, allowing interns to complete measurable and important projects during their internship, they can develop a sense of responsibility for the work they complete and take true ownership of their success or struggles.
Help Close the Skills Gap
One of the biggest struggles for employers and job seekers is the immeasurable skills gap that seems to block fresh graduates and entry-level employees from finding a role their resume is a match for. Whether it be interpersonal skills, software knowledge, or having real-world work samples, candidates who are just entering the workforce feel held back by their newness. For companies, the hidden cost of hiring can prevent employers from “taking a risk” on a new grad with only educational knowledge. While having interns can help your company’s productivity, it can also help your industry as a whole by creating opportunities for college students or new grads to develop a genuine experience that can translate into a full-time role.
Freshen up your Company Culture
It’s hard to identify areas for improvement in your organization when you are on the inside. Bringing in interns on a seasonal or yearly basis can help more easily identify areas for growth and expansion within your organization. Interns will be able to bring a fresh perspective to how your company is perceived by new employees and generations. Interns often look for multiple opportunities so knowing why they chose your company and what they think of it can help you refocus your company’s mission and culture into one that will attract future new hires.
No Pressure to Make a Full-Time Hire
As mentioned above, the hidden cost of hiring can prevent some organizations from growing even when the workload increases. Bringing in interns can help you see if the second set of hands is actually necessary in some departments while also not having to commit to hiring someone. Internship programs can help you bring in talent and needed skill-set for specific projects while also providing a rich educational experience for students.
Strengthen your Community Connections
Providing internship opportunities helps not only the company and the intern but also the community you work in. Creating opportunities for students locally helps keep talented workers in your area instead of moving for work. Additionally, interns who enjoy their experience often can become advocates for your company and attract future interns or employees who may have previously not considered your company. From the college they attend to their friends and family, interns can be a great source of referral for your company.
Internships may exist to give students the opportunity to get some hands-on experience in a real work environment, but companies can benefit just as much from the experience. Whether it be just one intern or an entire class of interns, opening your organization to an internship program can create long term progress and growth.